Munchkinville, Munchkin Land, Midgetville, Midget Town: All of these are the names of a fabulous place that I have heard of since I was in junior high school in the 1970s. Always tell in the second person. Someone’s brother, uncle, big friend, someone is always there. People who have never spoken. The story continues to this day. One of my niece graduated from Palm Springs High School in 2000, and she also heard the rumors. It’s like a cousin who is younger. Munchkinville was once an urban legend in Palm Springs.
The first time I went to school was in high school. The legendary thing is that after the re-production of “The Wizard of Oz” in the 1930s, some dwarf actors made money and bought some land in the Arabian area of Palm Springs. They played a key role in building houses, and they wanted to build porches, windows, counters and roof lines, especially for dwarfs. Many houses are made of natural rock, they are built at the end of a long dead end street, which is not seen in other parts of the world. They want to create a place for themselves in the celebrity paradise of Palm Springs.
The main road into the Arabi region in the 1970s was a curved narrow black top and a dirt road called Rim Road, which was hardly enough to accommodate a car. If the two are going to pass, they must squeeze on a mountain with the inner edge of the road, or hang the tires dangerously from the other side of the desert 50 feet above the other side of the road to clear the winter floods. It’s getting late. We rushed to Rim Road and searched for several intersections in the small neighborhood of Araby. Finally, we reached the top of the small peak at the top of the roof of the house. A thinner dirt road stretched back along the edge of the mountain and then turned down to wash the ground.
We climbed the car forward until someone yelled and pointed at a small group of rough houses, “Yes!” I tried to pass the haze in the car, the fog on the head, the glare of the headlights and the hazy yellow light pool. Observe in the dark. I’m not sure what I saw, but whether it fits my description. A person in a house raised his head in the window. My brother yelled: “Oh, damn it!” Then we drove away, laughing like idiots.
When I was old enough to have my own driving license, I tried to recreate our findings. But I have never seen that dark night with certainty. However, whenever a friend asks about Munchkinland, they either claim to have been there or know who they personally know. However, if I were to take them back, they would always yell, “Go.”
Fast forward more than 30 years, and it didn’t really come until recently. One day I found myself in Palm Springs with a digital camera in my hand, and it was more time than originally planned. I decided that I would follow the path I remembered when I was a teenager and see what I could do. I drove to the Arab road. Over the years, it has been built as an ordinary road and has made it easier for people to enter the secluded housing community that is now prestigious. During the day, I parked my car on different roads. I was sure that there was no cross road to other houses. These are the most difficult houses to find, and none of them seemed to be handmade from rocks. But in a street called Smoketree, I did find a rather new, ominous large iron, brick and plaster gate, with a small lion hanging on the pillars of the fence and the lion head, which seemed timid. I can see that the location of this door and the few roads behind it suggest that it may hardly flow along the scrubbing to some houses near normal neighbors.
I drove a lot around the community and reached the top of Araby Drive, and found a small road sign on the way that said: No parking. I stopped. Step on the footsteps and let my car block the house below me when the water leaks. In front of me is an old water tower, underneath it is an iron crossbar, preventing the drive from Arabi Drive into a narrower dirt road, where weeds and bushes are now overgrown. It descends as it wraps around the base of the mountain, staying above the scrubbing floor below, until it reaches a small pile of houses made of stone. They are almost unrecognizable, merge into such natural mountains and deserts, and cover decades of plant growth. I did not go. They seem to have lived for many years. In addition, my car was parked illegally.
Later that day, I posted my thoughts on all my lifelong friends. In return, about 50 comments were posted. It seems that everyone has a story about Munchkinville. Some people think they discovered it when they were young. Others claimed that this was a false rumor. But everyone has a story to share.